Some interesting and helpful advice for first time authors from the blog Live, Write, Thrive.
Being a serial write/edit freak its time for a change of habit …
This week I found myself entering the flash prompt competition held by LadyHazmat at The Angry Hourglass. The photo of a moss covered Cupid led to an unexpected tale, The Gardener, which I am shocked and delighted in equal measure to find had come first!
Many thanks to LadyHazmat for the ego boost and I hope you enjoy the tale.
Photo by Ashwin Rao
Ah the joy of Flash! Friday and their weekly prompts, sadly my entry didn’t quite make the grade this time around yet, as always, a nice writing exercise to get the creative juices flowing. The photo prompt (below) had me thinking along the lines of Donald Sutherland meandering the labyrinthine ways of Venice in Don’t Look Now. So the piece began life as a homage too Roeg’s psychological/paranormal horror tour-de-force, then became something entirely different.
Anyway hope you enjoy
A Family Affair
The rhythm of feet upon cobbled stone rang out through the city. Dirty faces peered out between wooden slats, watching the man in the cage being carried past. He pleaded, demanded, promised; yet no one replied.
They entered the square, the lake looked sorrowful, grey and uninviting. Like the people massed at the steps of the domed building he had till yesterday called home.
At the top of the steps his son waited, the warmth of his youthful smile echoed in the steel of the blade in his hand.
Hands tore him from the cage, forcing him to kneel. His son addressed the crowd, lifting the blade, yet he heard no words, lost in contemplation of the ancient statue that stood on the other side of the lake.
She had witnessed him hold that same blade years ago. Watched in silence as he had run the blade across his father’s throat.
Claiming his birthright, becoming a king.
Walking to school, one of those crisp autumn mornings when the wind chills your skin whilst the sun warms your back. The wonder of nature’s tendency towards incongruity. Knitted hands cling to knitted hands, till spotting a pile of autumnal leaves, the connection is rejected. Parental concerns ignored as you plunge head long down the pavement. Hitting optimum speed at the right moment. Sending shards of rust spinning into the air.
Sat on a train going nowhere, mechanical failure you find out from a passer-by. Well you think that’s what they said, but then again your mind whispers in this reality of perpetual ‘wars on terrors’ isn’t every disturbance to the routine not some harbinger of an imminent threat to come? Should one not duck and cover at every moment of uncertainty?
The reflex of the indoctrinated.
Vendors wander past the windows, pushing their wares through. Demanding, pleading that you buy. A colourful array of beads, clothing, carvings, food. Anything and everything.
You purchase something wrapped in a bright green banana leaf. All heat, aroma and mystery. Outside the window the world keeps moving as you sit still. Colour and voices, heat and dust. Feeling lost and alone. Your universe a battered back pack. Five days growth rubbing within your hand.
You unwrap the leaf and everything falls into place. Aroma, spice and colour unlocking the puzzle on the other side of the glass.
You begin to feel like this might just work out after all.
We smoked again.
She gave me that contradictory look of pleasurable mischief and telling me to man-up that she had perfected throughout our relationship. Applying another thick layer of hair remover to the reddened skin which earlier a large heart shaped leaf had innocently brushed against whilst we paddled in the creek. Till the leaf’s intrusion we had enjoyed the cool water playing over our feet, relieving the humidity that clung like a second skin.
I had never heard of Dendrocnide Excelsa before. A quick wiki search as skin erupted gave me the more popular name, like some nefarious super villain it had a moniker:
The Giant Stinging Tree.
The leaf was a biological weapon, its viridescent surface filled with delicate glass like needles. Needles that could only be removed by waxing the spot. So we sat within the rainforest, deforesting my leg.
Two months later and it still itches.
I reckon she missed a bit on purpose.